KIRO NEWSRADIO OPINION

Ross: Parking duplicity or an honest mix-up in SoDo

Sep 13, 2023, 8:06 AM | Updated: 11:02 am

parking sodo...

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - APRIL 14: Car parking signs are displayed at Manchester Royal Infirmary on April 14, 2022 in Manchester, England. Free parking in hospital car parks for NHS staff was introduced by the government in July 2020 during the pandemic but ended on March 31, 2022. (Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christopher Furlong/Getty Images)

We recently went to see the Immersive Van Gogh Experience in Sodo, which is right next to a parking lot that charges $15 for two hours.

The lot was mostly empty, and as I looked around, I saw there were signs for two parking companies, Diamond Parking and ParkMobile.

More from Dave Ross: I’m tired of graffiti, we need nightly paint truck patrols

I have the ParkMobile app, so I opened it, and the little blue dot showed that I was in a ParkMobile lot, so I paid online, and we went into the exhibit.

We got immersed in Van Gogh! We got so immersed that we got to the car ten minutes after the parking had expired, and guess what! Under the wiper was a ticket for failing to make “advance payment,” which said I could resolve the matter immediately by going online and paying $65!

And then I saw that the ticket wasn’t from ParkMobile, it was from Diamond Parking! I couldn’t believe it! I had paid the wrong parking company!

And yet, there was a sign right there! The green “ParkMobile” sign! And the ParkMobile app said I was in the right place!

So, I used the QR code on the ticket, filed an online dispute, and Diamond voided the ticket. Thank you, Diamond.

Come to find out that Diamond and ParkMobile have a partnership, so the money did not go to the wrong company after all, which is a happy ending. But I was right on the verge of just coughing up the $65, thinking I had paid the wrong company.

And as I started poking around the Internet for similar experiences, I found I was not the only one confused by the dueling parking signs.

Not only does Diamond use ParkMobile, but so does the City of Seattle. In one of the complaints to the Better Business Bureau, a driver who thought he was paying Diamond found out later his money went to the City. Same app. So Diamond also billed him.

When he disputed the charge, Diamond’s advice was, “We kindly ask for your cooperation in adhering to the correct signage when making payments.” Okay, but the app loads your space number automatically, and when it says, “You’re all set,” you figure you’re all set.

Bottom line, I like online parking. It’s convenient, and the overtime penalty was all my fault because I got immersed (well, it was partly Van Gogh’s fault, but he’s dead).

All I ask is that parking companies at least make it clear whose parking space it is. And it would also be nice if there was an alert warning that the penalty for being ten minutes late is $65.

Unless, as some of the complaints to the Better Business Bureau imply, the confusion is intentional. Which would not be very nice.

Listen to Seattle’s Morning News with Dave Ross and Colleen O’Brien weekday mornings from 5 – 9 a.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.

Dave's Commentary

Dave Ross on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM
  • listen to dave rossTune in to KIRO Newsradio weekdays at 5am for Dave Ross on Seattle's Morning News.

KIRO Newsradio Opinion

trump shooter motive...

Dave Ross

Ross: Motive of Trump shooter not important, how he got an AR-15 is

As much as we would all like to understand the motive of the Trump shooter, I don’t see us doing much with that information.

2 days ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: Membership Fees at Costco Are Going Up!

Ursula Reutin joins the SMN crew to discuss some changes that Costco is making to its membership fees and the rewards it is giving back to members. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM or go to MyNorthwest.com to learn more! […]

5 days ago

thirtymile fire...

Travis Mayfield

Mayfield: I will never forget Devin, Tom, Karen, Jessica in wake of Thirtymile Fire anniversary

This week marks 23 years since the The Thirtymile Fire, a massive wildfire burning north of Winthrop Washington killed four firefighters.

5 days ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: What do Sting and tantric sex have in common?

John shares an incredible story about a Sting concert at the Gorge… and then somewhere along the way, we (and by “WE”, we mean Jake) landed at tantric sex. Listen to the John & Jake Show every weekday at 3pm on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM. Listen to KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM, or visit MyNorthwest.com to […]

7 days ago

biden...

Angela Poe Russell

Angela Poe Russell: The lesson we all can learn from President Biden

As disturbed as I am by the state of politics right now, I do have President Biden to thank for giving me a new perspective on a personal matter.

7 days ago

...

MyNorthwest Video

Video: Should President Biden drop out of the race?

Ursula Reutin and Dave Ross have a very spirited conversation about our state’s Democratic response to President Biden. Listen to Seattle’s Morning News w/ Dave Ross & Colleen O’Brien Show every weekday at 5am on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM Listen to the Gee and Ursula Show every weekday at 9am on KIRO Newsradio 97.3 FM […]

8 days ago

Ross: Parking duplicity or an honest mix-up in SoDo